Accounting Bridge Program Online

Bridge (Master of Science in Accounting)

Offered By: Colangelo College of Business

Start Your Pathway for Enrolling in an MS in Accounting

The accounting bridge program online at Grand Canyon University is an option if you have a bachelor’s degree in an approved business field, other than accounting, and want to work toward earning your master’s degree in accounting. The accounting bridge program will teach you the fundamental background knowledge you need to apply for enrollment in a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program. The courses taken are the introductory courses to an MSA, which may enable you to feel more confident as you work toward graduate-level studies. 

Complete the Bridge to the Master of Science in Accounting 

Bachelor’s degree holders who are working full-time can take bridge program courses online with GCU, making it easier to balance work and school. 

Accounting Bridge Program Online Courses and Curriculum

This program includes accounting graduate courses that cover all the topics needed to transition from a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field to an MSA program. Some of these topics include:

  • Accounting cycle
  • Financial statements
  • Principles of accounting
  • Cost-volume-profit analysis
  • Budgets
  • Capital investments
  • Income statements
  • Retirement benefits
  • Taxation
  • Payroll
  • Auditing

Next Steps After Completing the Accounting Bridge Program Online 

After completion of the accounting bridge program at GCU, you may be eligible to apply to the Master of Science in Accounting program. This degree-conferring graduate program can prepare you to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. This exam is required for achieving a CPA license in your state, residence or practice.1

Accountants with advanced degrees may pursue management and leadership positions in corporate and public accounting. If you see yourself as a future budget analyst, financial examiner, tax preparer or financial risk specialist, a bridge to the Master of Science in Accounting may be the right path for you. While no academic program can be guaranteed to result in a certain career outcome, some top executives do have an academic background in an area such as accounting, along with the necessary work experience.

Complete Your Online Bridge Program at an Accredited University

Higher education is an investment in your future, and the quality of education matters. While you consider your options for a bridge to the Master of Science in Accounting, it’s important to verify that the university you choose is accredited. Institutional accreditation aligns with the quality of the college, as acknowledged by its peers. GCU is proud to be an institutionally accredited school.

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Accounting Bridge Program Online FAQs

As you think about transitioning to the accounting field from another business-related discipline, you may have some questions. Explore the following FAQs and answers as you consider applying for enrollment in the accounting bridge program.

Accounting can be an exciting field to work in because it offers variety. CPAs might work on tax returns one day and financial statements or audits the next. It also offers versatility, as you could choose to work within nearly any industry (organizations from apple farms to zoos all need accountants) and in a variety of specializations. Some accountants choose to launch their own CPA firms, making it a solid choice for those with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Choosing the accounting bridge program at GCU can prepare you for accounting graduate courses in a master’s degree program. Since it can be completed online from virtually anywhere, the bridge program provides flexible and convenient instruction.

The accounting bridge program is comprised of 48 credit hours. The online classes are eight weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to request a consult with a university counselor, who can help you better understand how long it takes to complete the accounting bridge program. 

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting, then you can apply directly to an MSA program. However, if you have a business-related degree in a discipline other than accounting, you may not necessarily be prepared to tackle accounting graduate courses. In this situation, it’s recommended that you gain some foundational knowledge with a bridge to the Master of Science in Accounting before applying to an MSA.

The four main types of accounting are as follows:

  • Government accounting: Government accountants work for governmental agencies. They track and manage governmental finances and establish budgets.2
  • Corporate accounting: A corporate accountant works for a business. They are responsible for accurately documenting financial transactions and delivering financial insights to corporate decision-makers. Corporate accountants may also be called private accountants because they work for just one business.3
  • Public accounting: In contrast to corporate accountants, public accountants may work for a variety of organizations and individuals, rather than working at an in-house accounting department.2
  • Forensic accounting: Forensic accountants specialize in examining the financial records of organizations and individuals who are suspected of committing financial crimes, such as fraud. Some forensic accountants testify in court.4

Position yourself for a possible career transition to the accounting field today. Apply for enrollment in the accounting bridge program at GCU and be taught core competencies in accounting. Fill out the form on this page to get started.


1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). How to become an accountant or auditor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved July 31, 2023. 

2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). What accountants and auditors do. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved August 3, 2023.

3 Palatnik, B., CPA, MBA, PhD., & Blaber, Z., CPA, PhD. (2022, February 28). Choosing between public and corporate accounting. New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. Retrieved August 3, 2023.

4 Ringoen, L., CPA, CFF, CIRA. (n.d.). What does a forensic accountant do? The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. Retrieved August 3, 2023. 

Total Credits: 48
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $485 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

48 credits
Degree Requirements:
48 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the accounting cycle and the construction of financial statements. Students explore the fundamental principles and practices of financial accounting as outlined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); the steps in the accounting cycle from journalizing transactions through the preparation of financial statements; and the use and interpretation of the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144, MAT-154, or higher subsequent math course.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the use of managerial accounting data in the decision-making process. Topics include the use of cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis and relevant costs in decision making, using budgets and the balanced scorecard to evaluate performance, methods for setting prices of products and services, and analyzing capital investment opportunities. Prerequisite: ACC-250.

Course Description

This course provides students with an introduction to current practices and techniques used to design, install, operate, and manage an integrated accounting system in either a manual or computerized setting. Application controls, information security requirements, and integration with other business information systems are examined. Prerequisite: ACC-250.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to data analytics techniques frequently used in accounting. Students explain basic concepts of financial data analytics and apply descriptive analyses, diagnostic analyses, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics to business scenarios. Prerequisite: ACC-335.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course is a comprehensive study of the legal and ethical issues of concern to business, including those areas of the U.S. legal system that are most relevant to business, such as the law of torts, strict liability, intellectual property, and contract law. It explores the role of ethics and values in business decision making and approaches these subjects from the perspective of the stakeholders as opposed to an economic interpretation of the firm and its responsibilities.

Course Description

This course provides a study of principles of internal accounting, including job order systems, process costing, activity-based costing, and budgeting. Prerequisite: ACC-260 or ACC-350.

Course Description

This course is an in-depth study of accounting objectives, principles, theory, and practice as related to the balance sheet and income statement. Students explore the accounting cycle, the preparation of detailed financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), accounting for assets, and other items frequently addressed on the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Examination (Uniform CPA Exam). Prerequisites: ACC-250 and ACC-260.

Course Description

This course is an in-depth study of accounting objectives, principles, theory, and practice as related to the balance sheet and income statement. Students explore liabilities and equity items; the specific rules for accounting for leases, accounting changes, and revenue recognition, and other items frequently addressed on the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Examination (Uniform CPA Exam). Prerequisite: ACC-370.

Course Description

This course is an in-depth study of ethical issues encountered in public accounting. Students develop a foundation for ethical decision making and explore ethical guidelines specific to the accounting profession. This course is designed to meet the requirements for licensure of certified public accountants in California. Prerequisites: BUS-340, ACC-460, and ACC-491.

Course Description

This course provides a study of the theory and practices of accounting for income taxes of individuals. Students explore the responsibilities of a tax accountant, specific transactions that affect the tax liability of individuals. Prerequisite: ACC-370 or FIN-350.

Course Description

This course provides a study of the theory and practices of accounting for income taxes of corporations, partnerships, and S corporations. Students explore tax treatment of transactions frequently encountered by various entities and prepare illustrative tax returns and related schedules. Prerequisite: ACC-460.

Course Description

Auditing is an examination of generally accepted auditing standards, procedures involved in the auditing process, and ethical issues faced by the auditor. Through class discussions, practical applications, and case studies, students learn the responsibilities of the independent public auditor in the expression of opinion within the guidelines set by the AICPA’s Code of Professional Ethics. Topics include the nature and types of audits, auditor responsibilities and legal liabilities, audit reports, auditing procedures, ethical issues, contemporary issues in auditing, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Prerequisites: ACC-260 or ACC-350, and ACC-370.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.